SJW Turns Against Tiny House Movement as 'Poverty Appropriation'

Heather Emch, shown, and her husband Scott Emch have joined the tiny house movement, residing in a 240-square-foot tiny house in the Columbus, Miss., area. "Our life has been simplified!" Scott said. (Deanna Robinson/The Commercial Dispatch, via AP)

It seems like a week doesn’t pass where I don’t see something about tiny houses on my Facebook timeline. As a reaction to both the disastrous Obama economy and the climate change hysteria, people — generally Brooklyn-style hipsters — are building and living in comically small houses.


You’d think an ever-smaller “carbon footprint” would be a hit across the Left, but we all know by now that nothing is ever good enough for the Social Justice Warrior. Because silly houses have apparently become “poverty appropriation.”

That’s right — your goofy home could HURT SOMEONE’S FEELINGS:

This background, this essential part of who I am, makes it particularly difficult to stomach the latest trend in “simple” living  — people moving into tiny homes and trailers. How many folks, I wonder, who have engaged in the Tiny House Movement have ever actually lived in a tiny, mobile place? Because what those who can afford homes call “living light,” poor folks call “gratitude for what we’ve got.”

And it’s not just the Tiny House Movement that incites my discontent. From dumpster diving to trailer-themed bars to haute cuisine in the form of poor-household staples, it’s become trendy for those with money to appropriate the poverty lifestyle  — and it troubles me for one simple reason. Choice.


It’s likely, from where I sit, that this back-to-nature and boxed-up simplicity is not being marketed to people like me, who come from simplicity and heightened knowledge of poverty, but to people who have not wanted for creature comforts. For them to try on, glamorize, identify with.

Such appropriation isn’t limited to the Tiny House trend, or even to the idea of simplicity. In major cities, people who come from high-income backgrounds flock to bars and restaurants that both appropriate, and mock, low-income communities. Perhaps the most egregious example is San Francisco’s Butter Bar, a trendy outpost that prides itself on being a true-blue, trailer park-themed bar, serving up the best in “trashy” cuisine and cocktails. With tater tots, microwaved food, and deep-fried Twinkies on the menu, the bar also serves cocktails that contain cheap ingredients, such as Welch’s grape soda. The bar has an actual trailer inside, and serves cans in paper bags, so that bar flies can have a paid-for experience of being what the owners of this bar think of when they think of trailer trash.


I’d like to think this essay means we’ve reached Peak Whine, but I don’t think humanity is that lucky.

While the tiny house thing isn’t my cup of tea, and some of the prices are ridiculous for the square footage you’re getting, so what? Is your life negatively impacted by people living in smaller homes despite being able to afford larger ones?

No matter what you do, someone on the Left is going to politicize it and attack you. So just go on doing your thing — let them be miserable and move on.


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